Town Council Meeting 17 May 2017 – Minutes

PONTELAND TOWN COUNCIL

MINUTES OF THE ANNUAL MEETING OF THE COUNCIL HELD IN THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES, PONTELAND ON 17 MAY 2017

Present: Councillor C Rawlings (in the Chair)

Councillors S Ahmed, Mrs C Caisley, L Darwin, T Edwards-Clay, Mrs C Greenwell, A Hall, Mrs S Johnson, A Shanley, A Varley and Mrs K Woodrow

1. ELECTION OF MAYOR 2017-18

Nominations for the position of Mayor for 2017-18 were invited.
RESOLVED – That Councillor A Varley be elected Mayor for 2017-18.

Councillor Varley took the chair and thanked his fellow colleagues for their support.

2. ELECTION OF DEPUTY MAYOR 2017-18

Nominations for the position of Deputy Mayor for 2017-18 were invited.
RESOLVED – That Councillor Mrs C Greenwell be elected Deputy Mayor for 2017-18.
Councillor Mrs Greenwell also thanked her colleagues for their support.

3. APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
An Apology for absence was received from Councillor R Dodd who was unwell.
The Council wished to send Councillor Dodd best wishes for a speedy recovery.

4. DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST

There were no declarations of interest.

5. MINUTES OF THE COUNCIL MEETING HELD 12 APRIL 2017

The Minutes of the Council Meeting held on 12 April 2017 were confirmed
and signed by the Mayor.

6. MATTERS ARISING
There were no matters arising.

7. APPOINTMENT OF ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE

To approve the appointment of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and all Town Councillors to the Accounts Committee for the purpose of authorising all payments made by the Council’s Deposit Account.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

7. APPOINTMENT OF ACCOUNTS COMMITTEE(Continued)

RESOLVED – Approve the appointment of the Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Councillors S Ahmed, Mrs C Caisley, L Darwin, R Dodd, T Edwards-Clay, A Hall, S Johnson, A Shanley and Mrs K Woodrow to the Accounts Committee.

8. APPOINTMENT OF REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS

A list of the current appointees to local organisations had been circulated.
A revised list of appointments following the recent elections had also been circulated to Councillors.
RESOLVED – The list of appointments as revised be approved and circulated to Councillors.

9. TOWN COUNCIL COMMITTEES/WORKING PARTIES

A list of the current appointees to Town Council Committees and Working Parties had been circulated.
A revised list of memberships following the recent elections had also been circulated to Councillors

RESOLVED – The revised list of appointments be approved and circulated to Councillors.

10. PLANNING

(i) Planning Committee
Minutes of meetings held on 4 and 18 April were circulated for information.

(ii) Report on recent planning decisions
There was nothing to report.

11. DATES OF TOWN COUNCIL MEETINGS 2017-18

A list of proposed dates for Town Council Meetings for the forthcoming year had been circulated. The schedule of pre-agenda meeting dates was also shown and if Councillors had items for the agenda they should aim to get them to the Clerk at least two or three days prior to this date.

RESOLVED – The dates be approved.

12. CO-OPTION OF A COUNCILLOR TO FILL THE VACANCY
IN THE SOUTH WARD

Councillors were reminded that following the recent elections held on 4 May there was still a vacancy to fill in the South Ward.
The Council were reminded of information that had been sent out to parish and town councils prior to the election that indicated co-option should take place as soon as possible following the elections.
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CHAIRMAN DATE
12. CO-OPTION OF A COUNCILLOR TO FILL THE VACANCY
IN THE SOUTH WARD (Contined)

The Clerk had circulated a notice seeking applicants for co-option. It was noted that three weeks had been given for expressions of interest.
If more than one application was received the Town Council would need to decide on the successful applicant at the June meeting.
If only one application was received, the Town Council would need to agree that co-option at the June meeting and the successful candidate could then take part in the meeting.
The process would need to be repeated if no-one came forward.

RESOLVED – The Council approve the process as outlined in the report and agree that the notice would be published on notice boards and the website.

13. PROJECTS REPORT

The projects report had been circulated for the information of Councillors.
For the information of new Councillors the Clerk reported that this report included a list of current projects and their suggested timescales. She explained the background to some of the items such as work at the skate park and play area on Callerton Lane that was currently on hold pending further discussions with the County Council regarding the lease.

RESOLVED – The report be accepted.

14. NOMINATIONS TO NORTHUMBERLAND ASSOCIATION OF
LOCAL COUNCILS (NALC) COUNTY COMMITTEE

A report by the Clerk to the Council had been circulated.
The Northumberland Association of Local Councils had indicated that there was a vacancy on their County Committee from Ponteland and the Rural West due to the retirement of Carl Rawlings from the Town Council.

Meetings were held on a bi-monthly basis on a Saturday morning usually in Morpeth. The meetings provided a good opportunity for representatives to network and discuss areas of concern.

RESOLVED – The Mayor be nominated as the representative for Ponteland and the Rural West on the County Committee.

15. PROPOSALS RE ACADEMY STATUS FOR SOME PONTELAND
SCHOOLS

A report by the Clerk to the Council had been circulated.
The report related to a current consultation that was being carried out with pupils of some schools in Ponteland regarding the formation of a mixed Multi Academy Trust (MAT).

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CHAIRMAN DATE

15. PROPOSALS RE ACADEMY STATUS FOR SOME PONTELAND
SCHOOLS (Continued)

Details of the schools involved were listed in the report.
The Town Council had not been consulted but had been made aware of the proposals and the Clerk had contacted the Head teacher and NCC for additional information. The response from the Head teacher was set out in the report.

Some Councillors still had concerns about the proposals particularly in relation to what it would mean in terms of the proposed new school and leisure complex and also in relation to the schools that would not form part of the proposed MAT.

It was suggested that two or three Councillors should request an informal meeting with the Head teacher at the High School to see if they could find out more about the proposals and what they mean for Ponteland.

RESOLVED – That the Council request an informal meeting with the Head teacher at the High School to discuss the proposals in more detail. It was agreed that Councillors Mrs Caisley, A Hall and Mrs Johnson would attend.

15A. REQUEST TO HOLD A THREE DAY MARKET IN PONTELAND PARK

A report by the Clerk had been circulated. The report related to a request that had been received from North East Markets seeking permission to hold a market in Ponteland Park from Friday 30 June until Sunday 2 July 2017. The Park would be in use for 4 days as set up would take place on Thursday 29th June.
The usual venue for the market was no longer available to the company.
The organisers indicated that this would be a family friendly event with funfair, craft stalls, horse rides etc and the footfall was expected to be 3000+ over the three days.

It was pointed out to Members that this was the first request of this kind that had been received in respect of the Park and whilst this would help the organisers it would also mean disruption to park users and nearby residents.

The company was looking for alternative venues and the Clerk was asked to suggest Higham Lakes as a possible solution.

RESOLVED – The request be rejected but that the alternative venue of Higham Lakes be conveyed to the organisers of the event.

16. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY

Minutes of a meeting of the above Working Party held on 24 April 2017 had been circulated.
RESOLVED – The minutes and the following recommendations be agreed:

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CHAIRMAN DATE
16. ENVIRONMENT WORKING PARTY (Continued)

(i) Overall review of tree works
a) The Council agreed the practice of writing to the donor organisations of
‘special ‘ trees setting out the conditions of their approval.
b) The Council agreed that no further memorial trees be planted in the
Park.
c) It was noted that Councillor Edwards-Clay agreed to carry out some tree inspections on behalf of the Council and information would be provided to him regarding trees in the Park in due course.
d) The Council confirmed the continued removal of Ivy from trees.
e) The Council consider the most appropriate use of the replacement
tree fund in due course.
f) It was noted that the Environment Working Party would be asked to consider the installation of a small number of additional tree nameplates in the Park.
g) The Council agreed to take responsibility for cutting the area around
the Pele Tower as suggested by the EWP.
(ii) Britain in Bloom
a) The Council agree to provide a further large green planter on Main
Street at a cost of £440 including delivery and this cost be met from
the Britain in Bloom budget.
b) The suggestion of a group to work on this topic was noted. It was
also noted that there would be work days held in the coming months
to work through a list of tasks and the support of Councillors would be
welcomed.

17. NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY COUNCIL REPORT

County Councillors Mrs Eileen Armstrong and Mrs Veronica Jones were in attendance at the meeting.
They indicated that following the elections, there was nothing to report at this stage until after the meeting that was being held at County Hall on 24th May.

18. MAYOR’S REPORT
(i) Mayor’s Diary
The former Mayor had submitted details of his diary engagements for April and May 2017.
The Mayor indicated that he would also report on his diary engagements on a monthly basis.

19. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS
(i) Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan Steering Group
There were no minutes of the Steering Group to report at the present time. It was noted that the County Council were currently carrying out a consultation on the Ponteland Neighbourhood Plan.

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CHAIRMAN DATE

19. REPORTS BY TOWN COUNCIL REPRESENTATIVES ON LOCAL ORGANISATIONS (Continued)
(ii) Multi agency meeting with the Police and NCC re anti social
behaviour
Councillor Varley reported that he had attended a meeting at the Ponteland Leisure Centre on 28 April to discuss the problems of anti social behaviour in Ponteland.
This was a follow up to a meeting held in September that the Clerk had attended.
There were representatives from the Police and NCC in attendance at both meetings.

Although it appeared that the incidents of anti social behaviour were decreasing in Ponteland, both NCC and the Police were keen for the Town Council to invest in some additional CCTV and/or street lighting. The point had been made that PTC were the smallest organisation in terms of resource and budget that were represented at the meeting.

The Clerk reported that she had asked the Police Inspector for a further meeting with the new Town Council.

20. ACCOUNTS/ BANK RECONCILIATION/ BUDGET UPDATE/

The Accounts Committee approved payments totalling £54,767.23 and the transfer of this sum from the Council’s Deposit Account. The Bank reconciliation for April 2017 was also approved. A copy of the monthly budget reports was also circulated.
RESOLVED – The reports be approved.

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CHAIRMAN

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DATE

DATE OF NEXT MEETING – WEDNESDAY 14 JUNE 2017 AT 6.45 P.M. AT THE TOWN COUNCIL OFFICES